Upstate Softball Grabs School Record 14 A-Sun Postseason Honors with Robinson, Shubert, Beasley and Hawkins Taking Home Major Awards
Spartanburg, S.C. – After turning in a standout season chocked full of standout individual performances, the USC Upstate softball team grabbed a program record 14 postseason honors from the Atlantic Sun, highlighted by player of the year Shellie Robinson, pitcher of the year Lexi Shubert, freshman of the year Karla Beasley and coach of the year Chris Hawkins.
In addition to the individual award winners, Robinson, Shubert and Beasley were first team all-conference selections and were joined on the first team by Aly Schneider and Kendall Settlemyre. Cheyenne Griffin, Dana Landers and Hayley Reinfeld were named second team all-conference, while Beasley and Amanda Storch took home all-freshman honors.
“I am so proud of this team and what is has accomplished this year,” said Hawkins, who took home his second straight A-Sun Coach of the Year honor. “We had a veteran team with 10 seniors, six of whom were named all-conference. Collectively, their leadership was what made this team reach the level of success it did this year and over the last four seasons. They have also benefitted by the outstanding efforts of our assistant coaches Bryan Pack, Kenzie Roark and Danielle Dike who have worked tirelessly to help our team improve.
“Lexi was amazing in what she was able to do to carry the load throughout the season. Karla and Amanda were two of the newcomers that made an impact and helped us all year long. I am blown away by the number of awards. But, at the same time, I think each one is deserving. The seniors who were honored, and the four that were not, wow, what a legacy they have established with this program. Now, we have work to do this week as we look to win another championship in what is certain to be a challenging and difficult A-Sun Tournament.”
The 14 postseason honors eclipses the old school record of 12 set by the 2014 team. The 2014 Spartans also won the A-Sun regular season championship and went on to make the program’s second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Regionals.
Shellie Robinson | Player of the Year | First Team All-Conference
Robinson earned her second consecutive A-Sun Player of the Year honor and was a unanimous pick for first team all-conference. She now becomes Upstate’s first-ever four-time first team all-conference honoree. She joins all-time great pitcher Morgan Childers and teammate Cheyenne Griffin as four-time all-conference selections, though Childers and Griffin had at least one second team honor in their careers. Robinson leads the A-Sun in home runs, RBIs, runs and slugging percentage and ranks second in hits and batting average. She currently ranks ninth in the nation in home runs per game and 11th in total home runs.
Robinson broke the program’s all-time single season record with 21 home runs so far this season, a record that stood for 19 years. She owns the Division I era career school records for hits, run, RBIs, home runs, doubles, batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. She is the program’s all-time career leader with 68 home runs as well as owning the runs and slugging percentage records. She has moved into second place all-time in the A-Sun in home runs, runs and slugging percentage. Robinson, who was a third team All-American last season, has been honored eight times by the A-Sun – four first team all-conference selections, two player of the year awards, one freshman of the year honor and one all-freshman selection. She is one of two players in the history of the A-Sun with 200 career hits and runs and is eight RBIs shy of becoming the only player in the history of the Upstate program with 200 career hits, runs and RBIs.
Lexi Shubert | Pitcher of the Year | First Team All-Conference
Shubert was named the A-Sun Preseason Pitcher of the Year and did not disappoint en route to earning pitcher of the year honors and her second consecutive first team all-conference selection. She was a unanimous selection for first team all-conference after finishing the regular season with 30 wins, 12 more than the next closest pitcher in the conference. She earned the win in 30 of Upstate’s 40 victories on the season, including 15 of the 18 wins in A-Sun play. She currently ranks fourth in the nation with her 30-win total and is 13th with eight shutouts.
Shubert leads the A-Sun in wins and ERA and is second in strikeouts. As dominant as she was in A-Sun play where she had seven more wins than the next closest conference pitcher, she has 12 more wins than any other A-Sun pitcher overall. She also picked up marquee non-conference wins over No. 11 Georgia, NC State and North Carolina. She broke the A-Sun record for consecutive weekly awards, taking home four straight pitcher of the week honors.
Karla Beasley | Freshman of the Year | First Team All-Conference | All-Freshman
While the senior class seemed to grab all of the headlines throughout the season, Beasley made her mark as the only freshman to crack the lineup for the Spartans. She went on to turn in one of the top offensive performances in the conference playing primarily as the designated player. She ranks among the Top 10 in the A-Sun in six different categories, including third in slugging percentage and sixth in batting average. She also ranks among the leaders in home runs, doubles, RBIs and on-base percentage. Hovering around .400 throughout the season, she is currently hitting .395. She had her biggest hit of the season when she sent a chopper up the middle to drive in the game-winning run at No. 11 Georgia. Beasley is now the fourth-straight Spartan to earn A-Sun Freshman of the Year honors.
Chris Hawkins | Coach of the Year
Hawkins earned his second consecutive coach of the year honor after leading the Spartans to their second straight runaway regular season championship in the A-Sun. He coached the Spartans to an 18-2 league record after leading the team to the conference title with a 22-2 mark last year (Mercer and ETSU left the conference following the 2014 season). His 2015 squad broke the single-season A-Sun home runs record and enters the A-Sun Tournament with 91. His Spartans currently lead the A-Sun in batting average and ERA overall and in A-Sun play, while the Spartans are currently ranked No. 40 in the latest NCAA RPI. The team has received votes in both national Top 25 polls throughout the season and he has coached the team to marquee non-conference wins over Power 5 conference teams Georgia (11th-ranked), NC State and North Carolina. He now has 767 career victories, all as head coach at Upstate. He has now coached two A-Sun Player of the Year, three A-Sun Pitcher of the Year, four A-Sun Freshman of the Year, 33 all-conference and 16 A-Sun All-Freshman selections since joining the league for the 2008 season. He has also coached the Spartans to four conference titles including three regular season crowns in 2008, 2014 and 2015 and one tournament championship in 2013.
Aly Schneider | First Team All-Conference
After splitting time on the field as a junior in 2014, Schneider was a mainstay in the lineup throughout the season in 2015. She has hovered around .400 throughout the season while playing in right field and center field and is currently hitting .398. She currently ranks in the Top 10 in the A-Sun in six different categories. She was even better in A-Sun play where she topped the conference in hits and runs. She also tops the team with a 21-game reached base streak, a streak which she carries into the A-Sun Tournament this week. She has not committed an error in 38 chances in the outfield this season. She was an all-state and all-conference selection as a sophomore at Miami Dade in 2013 prior to coming to Upstate and belted the game-winning hit against No. 21 South Alabama in the Tuscaloosa Regional in the NCAA Tournament last season for the Spartans.
Kendall Settlemyre | First Team All-Conference
Settlemyre overcame an early-season wrist injury to post another standout season at the plate and in the field as the Spartans’ third baseman. She currently ranks in the Top 10 in the A-Sun in five different categories, ranking second in home runs and slugging percentage. In A-Sun play alone, she tops the league in slugging percentage and is tied with teammate Shellie Robinson for the home run lead. She also ranks in the Top 30 in the nation in home runs and home runs per game. She became one of nine Spartans all-time to reach 100 career hits, runs and RBIs. She also belted two grand slams on the year including one to beat North Carolina. She moved into the Top 10 on many of Upstate’s DI era record lists, including second in home runs and slugging percentage. Her selection this year is her second consecutive first team all-conference nod. She was a two-time A-Sun Player of the Week selection during the season as well.
Cheyenne Griffin | Second Team All-Conference
Griffin is one of just three Spartans all-time to earn four all-conference selections. She was a first team selection in 2012 and 2014 was also a second team pick in 2013. She went on to earn A-Sun Tournament MVP honors in leading Upstate to the 2013 A-Sun Tournament title. Griffin became one of nine Spartans all-time to reach 100 career hits, runs and RBIs during the season. She currently ranks third on the conference with 12 home runs and ninth in slugging percentage. A standout defensive player as well, she is three putouts shy of 1,100 for her career. She was a two-time A-Sun Player of the Week selection during the season. She enters the A-Sun Tournament hitting .317.
Dana Landers | Second Team All-Conference
A year after earning second team all-conference honors as the Spartans’ starting second baseman, Landers earned second team all-conference honors as Upstate’s starting shortstop in 2015. She didn’t miss a beat after the move. Hitting .336 overall, she was simply outstanding during A-Sun play. She finished A-Sun play hitting .412 and ranked among the Top 10 in the conference in five different categories against conference competition and in runs overall. She also made several key defensive plays throughout the season. She hit a career-best eight home runs, including a pair of grand slams. She also became one of nine Spartans all-time to reach 100 career hits, runs and RBIs.
Hayley Reinfeld | Second Team All-Conference
Reinfeld earned her first all-conference nod as a second team selection this season. It follows being named all-freshman in 2012. Reinfeld turned in one of the top offensive seasons during A-Sun play. She led the conference with a .500 batting average against league competition alone, an effort that also pushed her to enter the A-Sun Tournament as the top hitter in the league with an overall batting average of .432. She ranks second in on-base percentage and among the Top 10 in three other categories. She performed consistently throughout the season while playing all three outfield positions and has not committed an error in 44 chances so far this season.
Amanda Storch | All-Freshman
Storch has turned in a solid freshman campaign in the circle for the Spartans. She enters the A-Sun Tournament with a 9-3 record with key wins over A-Sun tournament teams Kennesaw State, North Florida and Stetson. She ranks 10th in the A-Sun with 67 strikeouts overall and 10th in wins and ERA during A-Sun play.